The homeless are getting paid to pick up trash in a new sixth-month trial program
When someone falls on hard times and is forced to resort to panhandling and vagrancy, it can be difficult to raise that person back to an acceptable standard of living, rehouse them, and get them back into a stable occupation - particularly if that person is struggling with addiction or mental health issues.
Many kinds of ideas have been touted over the years, but now the town of Little Rock in Kansas has come up with a plan to help the homeless and deal with litter in one fell swoop. A new initiative, which will be on trial for six months to test its effectiveness, aims to pay homeless people cash to pick up trash found on the streets.
Check out this inspiring footage of the Bridge to Life program in action below:
The 'Bridge to Work' program wants to change people's lives and pay them money to help deal with America's litter. According to WIFR, the participants will be paid a rate of $9.25 an hour, with their wages provided from approximately $80,000 in funding, courtesy of the city of Little Rock’s Public Works Department.
Commenting on the initiative in a recent interview with WIFR, Associate Pastor Paul Atkins of Canvas Community Church (who spearheaded the program) stated: "The goal is to give them a day’s work and a day’s pay, but also the opportunity to connect to services that can help them to get full employment, or whatever the next step is ... Everybody’s been really great and supportive and cooperative."
Take a look at some of the social media reactions to the program below:
If successful after the initial half-year period, then the program might continue indefinitely, supported by grants from the local authorities. There's no denying that America's homeless problem is a grave concern. According to statistics published by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, approximately 2,700 people in Arkansas experience homelessness on a daily basis.